Service blueprinting is a process analysis methodology proposed by Shostack (Shostack, 1982, 1984). Shostack’s methodical procedure draws upon time/motions method engineering, PERT/project programming and computer system and software design. The proposed blueprint allows for a quantitative description of critical service elements, such as time, logical sequences of actions and processes, also specifying both actions/events that happen in the time and place of the interaction (front office) and actions/events that are out of the line of visibility for the users, but are fundamental for the service.
(Zeithaml, Bitner et al. 2006) define service blueprinting as a tool for simultaneously depicting the service process, the points of customer contact, and the evidence of the service from the customer’s point of view. With this description, the authors emphasise the different systemic layers overlapping in a service, from the layer of customer interaction and physical evidence to the layer of internal interaction within the service production process.

Layers of interaction in service blueprint (source Zeithaml, Bitner et al 2006)

Layers of interaction in service blueprint (source Zeithaml, Bitner et al 2006)

Service blueprinting involves the description of all the activities for designing and managing services, including schedule, project plans, detailed representations (such as
Use cases) and design plans, or service platforms.
Blueprinting is often supported by methodologies that elicit functional elements of services, as well as their qualitative/implicit characteristics, including TQM techniques, such as Quality Function Deployment (Ramaswamy, 1996), Just in Time, and capacity planning (Hollins, 2006), or IDEF0 (N. Morelli, 2006)

Some examples of service blueprinting
Engine (UK) used service blueprinting with the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) , Nokia and other companies

Hollins, B. (2006). Why don't We Design Out the Wait? Engineering Designer. The Journal of the Institution of Engineering Designers, 32(4), 26-30.
Morelli, N. (2006). Developing new PSS, Methodologies and Operational Tools. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(17), 1495-1501.
Ramaswamy, R. (1996). Design and management of service processes. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
Shostack, L. G. (1982). How to Design a Service. European Journal of Marketing, 16(1), 49-63.
Shostack, L. G. (1984). Design Services that Deliver. Harvard Business Review(84115), 133-139.

Zeithaml, V. A., M. J. Bitner, et al. (2006). Services marketing : integrating customer focus across the firm. Boston, McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Relevant links

Design council on service design (UK)